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District Announcements
Information About Westside Facilities Master Plan Available
Information about proposed changes and improvements to Westside Community Schools facilities master plan is now available. A majority of this information comes from DLR Group, the Omaha architectural firm hired by the District to assess our facilities. This information was released over the course of two Board of Education meetings in March. We would like your comments and questions about this process. Please click here to make a comment or to ask a question.

DLR PowerPoint Presentation to the Westside Board of Education (March 10)
DLR Report on Facilities Conditions to the Westside Board of Education (March 10)
DLR Executive Summary Report to the Westside Board of Education (March 24)
DLR PowerPoint Presentation (March 24)
DLR Educational Adequacy Scorecard (March 24)
DLR Cost Summary (March 24) 
Video of March 10 Board of Education meeting
Video of March 24 Board of Education meeting

In addition to all this information, click here to view a series of reports on demographics, enrollment projections, statistics and stories about Westside Community Schools
History Day Night!
Ms. Kruse's 6th grade class at Sunset Hills Elementary hosted the annual History Day night with an added twist this year of QR codes.  Students created their annual tri-board display with an option for visitors to use technology.  Matt Lee, from the district technology team, worked with the sixth grade class on creating a QR code and linking the students' bibliographies, biographical essays, and position papers.  In a packed house, visitors were able to use a QR scanner on an iPad to read the students' essays and view their sources in addition to speaking with the students.  Click to see more photos...
Kindergartners Learn About Physics!
 The 4-H Extension Program through UNL presented First Timers Physics to Mrs. Carroll's kindergarten class.  Three lessons were taugh on sound, light, and air.  The students had a wonderful time working on a variety of experiments!  
Movie Night
 Last Friday night, students and families of Sunset Hills gathered in the gym for Movie Night.  The movie showing was "The Little Rascals."  Those in attendance had the opportunity to bring their own blankets, chairs and pillows, as well as purchase popcorn and snacks from the sixth graders.  It was a fun night for all!  Thanks to everyone that came!  Click Here to See More Photos...
Battle of the Books!
 Westside's 2014 Battle of the Books competition took place this past Saturday, March 1, at Westside High School.  Over 200 4th-6th grade students from all ten elementary schools came together to share their love of reading.  During the competition, students were asked questions about the 20 books they read.  Wonderful job to all of the students, parents and coaches who participated from Sunset Hills!  Your hard work and dedication showed!  A special congratulations to the Sunset Story Sasquatches team of Nadifo Nur, Reese Pike and Claire Garman.  They came in second place in the whole competition!  Way to go girls!  
Art and Soup Night!
The second annual Sunset Hills Art and Soup Night was a huge success!  The soups were delicious and the art was spectacular!   Thank you to the many Sunset parents who put in an unbelievable amount of hard work to make everything come together! Click here to see photos from the night!
Sunset Hills Speech Contest
 The last couple of months, students in Mrs. Kruse's sixth grade class have been working hard on speeches.  Five finalists were selected to give their speech in front of grades 3-6.  Congratulations to Reese Pike, Sarah Lawlor, Andrew Johanningsmeier, Gabe Studenberg, and Anne DeVries for being the five finalists to compete at the Sunset level.  An extra congratulations to Reese for finishing first, with Sarah finishing second and Andrew finishing third.  Reese will represent Sunset at the District Speech Contest.  All of your hard work was very apparent!
First Graders Receive Tennis Lesson
Mrs. Schmidt's first grade received their very own tennis lesson from Doug Greenwald.  As a reward for being safe, respectful, and responsible in the classroom, students transfered their safety and responsibility skills to the tennis courts Friday afternoon.  Students were respectful by listening to Mr. Greenwald, responsible by following his directions, and safe by using the equipment appropriately.
Way To Go Sunset Hills!!
 Sunset Hills SGA just finished a very successful fundraiser for Pennies for Patients.  At the end of the two weeks, Sunset raised $775.00 for the charity!  Second grade will receive a pizza party for being the class to raise the most money. Way to go SGA, and students and families of Sunset Hills!  
A Visit from Artist Thomas Prinz
 Sunset Hills was lucky to have artist Thomas Prinz here all week to work with all students.  Last week, parent volunteers helped students create a digital art project using Tux Paint on the computers.  Printz then visited all classrooms to help students turn this into two different pieces of artwork.  Make sure to join us at Art and Soup Night on February 21st, so you can check out the finished products!
Henry Doorly Zoo Poster Contest!
Ms. McMeekin's third grade class participated in the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium's poster contest.  The theme this year was for students to illusrate their favorite zoo memory.  All students showed great creativity with their posters.  Congratulations to Haruka Kido for winning!  Her poster has been submitted to the zoo, where Haruka will be invited to a Zoo party with other winning posters!  Great work third grade and Haruka!
Pennies For Patients!
 Don't forget to help Sunset Hills students and SGA raise money for Pennies for Patients!  Last week students were encouraged to bring in change to help their class raise the most money!  Donations can still be brought in through the end of this week.  On Thursday SGA will be holding a bake sale after school, so don't forget to bring your money!
Gandalf the Wizard Visits Sunset Hills!
 Gandalf the Wizard (Andy Liakos) from the book, "The Hobbit," worked with Sunset Hills students who are enrolled in Battle of the Books.  Gandalf discussed the book with students as they prepare for the upcoming Battle of the Books competition.
Turn Off the Screen Week!
 Congratulations to the students of Sunset Hills who completed Turn Off the Screen Week!  What a great accomplishment!  All of the activities throughout the week were a huge success!  Thank you to all of the students, teachers and parents for helping out last week!  Click Here to See Photos From the Week!
Sunset Hills Celebrates Kindness Week!
 Last week was Kindness Week at Sunset Hills.  Mrs. Barnes gave several activities for classes to participate in to help promote kindness in our school.  First and fourth grade and third and kindergarten buddies made Valentine's to be delivered to kids at a local hospital. Students also had the opportunity to contribute to a garden of kindness by writing how they will always strive to be kind.  On Friday, students were encouraged to wear blue to show their support of the week's activities.
Students Celebrate the 100th Day of School!
 Students at Sunset Hills celebrated the 100th day of school last week.  Classes participated in many different activities using the number 100.  Using their 100 glasses, Mrs. Schmidt's class predicted where they would end up in the school, after taking 100 steps.  Third graders in Ms. McMeekin's class worked on 100 different kinds of math problems, in sets of 10.
Sunset Hills Promotes Literacy!
 The students of Sunset Hills spent Wednesday promoting reading!  It started with a pajama day!  Next, students participated in a book swap.  Each student picked two free books to take home!  Finally, the day ended with a stop from Casey and the Omaha Stormchasers.  For certain amounts of minutes read, students can earn prizes and a ticket to a Stormchasers game!  Thank you to the students, teachers, SGA, and parent volunteers for making this day such a great success!  Stay tuned to the website for more pictures from this day and Turn off the Screen Week!
Turn Off the Screen Week!
Next week, Sunset Hills will be holding the annual "Turn Off the Screen Week."  We encourage your family to participate and have fun at Sunset!  Here is the list of activities:

January 21- Healthy families program presented by Live Well Omaha Kids:  6:30 pm in Sunset's gym
January 22- Book Swap at 3:00 in Sunset's gym (bring a quarter for a book!) and Family Night on your own
January 23- Magic Show presented by award-winning magician Joe Cole:  6:30 pm in Sunset's gym
January 24- Pizza/Bingo Night:  6:00-7:30 pm in Sunset's gym

We hope to see you at one or all of these events!
Sunset Hills Book Swap!
 On Wednesday, January 22, Sunset Hills will be having a book swap!  All students will get to visit the book swap with their class and select a FREE book to take home.  At 3:00, the remaining books will be sold for a quarter each in the gym.  At the end of the book swap, any books that are left will be donated to a charitable organization.

Thank you for donating your gently used books for the book swap.  You can turn in books through the morning of Wednesday, January 22nd.  
Annual Gingerbread House Day!
 Each year, Sunset Hills asks students to participate in making gingerbread houses.  With help from Sunset Hills SGA, students are organized into buddies to decorate the houses.  The houses are then delivered to Crown Pointe retirement home for others to enjoy during the holiday season.  Thank you to all the students, parent volunteers, SGA and Sunset staff who help make this event possible each year! Click Here For More Photos...
First Graders Make Tile Wreaths
 Students in Mrs. Schmidt's first grade class painted winter wreaths on tiles as part of a discussion about winter traditions.
Sunset Hills Band and Strings Concert
 Sunset Hills band and strings students showed off their talent at a concert Wednesday.  It's always great to see all of the practice and hard work pay off!  Great job band and strings students!
Sunset Hills Featured in The Omaha World Herald
The Omaha World Hearld recently featured an article on Sunset Hills!  The article focuses on the fundraising through Spirit Days that SGA has done during the school year.  Way to go Sunset Hills and SGA!  Click here to check it out...
Author, Henry Cole, Visits Sunset Hills!

Author and illustrator Henry Cole visited K-6 students at Sunset Hills the morning of November 11. He discussed his process of drawing illustrations for his books and his long time desire to be an artist. Mr. Cole shared amusing moments from his childhood with students that impacted his choice to be an artist, author and illustrator. Following the two information sessions, Mr. Cole autographed books students had purchased ahead of time. 


Sixth Grade Mathletes Place Second in Competition!
 On Thursday, November 7th, four 6th grade students traveled to McMillian Middle School for a math contest.  There were 53 teams from around the metro area in attendance.  There were two team competitions; a written exam and a quiz bowl contest.  Reagen Fehr, Thomas Lundin, Reese Pike, and Cal Weidemann represented Sunset Hills.  They placed second in the quiz bowl portion of the contest.  Congratulations! 
Sunset Hills Celebrates Veteran's Day!
 Sunset Hills celebrated Veteran's Day in a few different ways. Ella and Oscar brought Veteran's in for lunch while the 6th grade played patriotic music during lunch.  Mrs. Lusero's first grade wrote thank you letters to veterans for serving in our military and created a quilt flag on the opposite side.  Sunset Hills thanks all of our Veteran's!
First Grade Pizza Party!
 Mrs. Schmidt's first grade class enjoyed their pizza party!  The earned the party by selling the most cookie dough.  Thank you Community Club for all you do!
Cross-Age Buddies!
 Ms. Assman's fourth graders, and Mrs. Schmidt's first graders used their buddy time to make Thanksgiving placemats.  The placemats will be delivered to the Ambassador home for everyone there to enjoy!
Sunset Hills Spelling Bee!
 Sunset Hills held the school Spelling Bee this week.  Qualifying fourth, fifth and sixth graders competed for a spot in the district spelling bee. All spellers did a great job!  The winner was sixth grader, Reese Pike, with fifth grader Ramya Iyers coming in a close second!  They will travel to the district spelling bee.  Congratulations and good luck to Reese and Ramya!
Cookie Dough Sales
Thank you to all Sunset Hills families who participated in the cookie dough sales.  This is a great fundraiser and way to help out our school.  Congratulations to Mrs. Schmidt's first grade class for selling the most!  They will receive a pizza party for winning.  Way to go!
No Place For Hate!
 Sunset Hills is a school where there is "No Place for Hate."  Last week, students learned about being a hate free school.  They promised to treat everyone fairly, be kind, and make Sunset Hills a safe and happy place for EVERY STUDENT!   All students and grades particpated in an activity where they decorated a hand that displayed all of these messages. Check out the peace sign created by guidance counselor, Mrs. Barnes in the library! 
Sunset Hills Winter Coat Drive!
 Sunset Hills SGA is sponsoring a WINTER COAT DRIVE to benefit the WESTSIDE COAT CLOSET!     The Westside Coat Closet provides winter coats, boots, and accessories for Westside families in need of these items.  The WINTER COAT DRIVE will begin next Monday, October 28, and continue for two weeks until Friday, November 8.   Give your unused items a home, help keep Westside families warm, and clean out your closets at the same time!  Please bring your unneeded COATS, HATS, MITTENS, GLOVES, SCARVES, SNOWPANTS and BOOTS to school; there will be a donation box in each classroom!  Thank you for your help!
Crazy Hair Day!
 Every month, SGA will be holding a Friday Spirit Day with a different theme.  If students want to participate, SGA asks that they bring $0.50 to their classroom teacher.  This money will be donated to a cause decided upon by the students in SGA.  October's Spirit Day was Crazy Hair Day!
"Gotta Be Jazz"
 Sunset Hill's students in 4th, 5th, and 6th put on a great performance last week, titled "Gotta Be Jazz."  Music Teacher, Gloria Stover led the show, which incuded many songs from the jazz era.  Some favorites were "Gotta Be Jazz," "Basin Street Blues," "My Favorite Things," "It Don't Mean a Thing," and "Birdland."  It was apparent how much time the students and Mrs. Stover put into the show!  Great job!  
First Graders Leaf Paintings!
 After reading about Fall, the first grade students of Mrs. Schmidt's class gathered leaves and painted paper leaves.  After the paint dried, the students wrote about fall on their leaves.
A Visit From Dr. Nose!
 Kindergarten, first and second graders received a vist from Dr. Nose!  The presentation taught students how to blow their nose and what snot is made of.  It also included information about germs.  It is a great time of year to review this information, as we all want to do our best to stay healthy! 
Sunset Hills Students Display Talent!
 Sunset Hills held the Talent/Variety Show last week.  Students put on all kinds of acts, including: singing, dancing, gymnastics, taekwondo, drums, glass music and much more.  What an exciting night filled with the very talented students of Sunset Hills! Click Here To See More Photos...
Fireman "Fred" Visits Sunset Hills!
 Sunset Hills had a special guest visit on Wednesday.  Fireman "Fred," along with members of the Omaha Fire Department presented to the students about the importance of fire saftey and having a home escape plan.  This presentation taught students to check smoke detectors, to always have two ways out in case of a fire, and to have a meeting place.  The students were then given "homework" to work with their families and complete a home escape plan.  When they bring it back, they will receive a special prize!
Sunset Hills Staff Participates in "Nexting While Walking"
On Wednesday, September 18th, all Westside Community Schools staff members participated in an event called "Nexting While Walking."  This event came about after a visit to the staff by Gallup researcher, Dr. Shane Lopez.  Lopez's message was how to encourage hope, wellbeing and engagement in our students.  This walking event gave time for colleagues to connect and talk about what's next for the future of Westside Community Schools. 
Sunset staff enjoyed an afternoon stroll full of daydreaming, practicing hope, and NEXTING! 
2013-2014 SGA Elections Are Held
 Every year, Sunset Hills holds elections for the Student Government Association (SGA).  SGA is a student organization which holds fundraisers and events throughout the year to promote school spirit and raise money for the community and different organizations.  Sixth graders hold the officer positions for the entire year and are supported by two representatives from grades 3-6.  Congratulations to this year's officers:  Sarah Lawlor (President), Katherine Albers (Vice-President), Kady Bidrowsky (Secretary), and Reese Pike (Treasurer).
Sunset Hills Welcomes Nigerian Art Ambassador Ibiyinka Olufemi Alao!
Don't forget to join us Thursday, September 5th from 5-7 pm for the Arts Show and Presentation!  

Nigerian art ambassador Ibiyinka Olufemi Alao will visit Sunset Hills Elementary Sept. 3-6 to share his traditional African art, stories and songs that focus on peace and hope.
 
Ibiyinka, winner of the United Nations International Art Competition, tours the world giving lectures and workshops. His art has been exhibited at Harvard Business School, the Indianapolis Art Center, the Martin Luther King Art Center, the Nigerian embassy and consulate, UN Headquarters and the Empire State Building, among others. His perspective is from the traditional African point of view.
 
At Sunset Hills, Ibiyinka (E-bee-ink-a Allow) will open the week with an all-school assembly. He will then work with individual classes and students to create works of art and also to learn songs and stories. A gallery art show and presentation will be held at Sunset Hills on Thursday, Sept. 5, from 5 to 7 p.m. At 6:00pm, Ibiyinka Alao will make a short presentation to all who are in attendance.
 
Ibiyinka’s visit is made possible by a partnership between Westside Community Schools and the Sunset Hills Community Club. For information about Ibiyinka, go to www.ibiyinka.com. For information about his visit contact Sunset Hills, (402) 390-6480.    
Cross Age Buddies!
This year every grade level will be paired with another grade level for our Cross Age Buddy program.  The buddies will meet at least once a month to do an activity together.  The activities can range from assisting a younger grade with a curriculum based activity, reading together, promoting our schoolwide behavior expectations, etc.  Click Here to Read More...
Sixth Graders Empower Themselves!

Sixth graders in Mrs. Kruse’s class made a collage. Students thought of a situation or thing in which they have no control and empowered themselves through art.  Students looked at artwork from across cultures and across time periods to see how artists empower their subjects in their artwork.  Click to read more...

Technology in 3rd Grade!

This week in third grade, students are learning how to use our iPads.  We have been doing what we call "App of the Day."  This means each day we are taking a few minutes to learn how to use some of the apps that are useful for third grade.  Click Here to Learn More...





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